I am sure most people are familiar with suppressor or as its inventor calls it as “silencer.” Invented by Hiram Percy Maxim, it was designed to muffle the acoustic intensity of a firearm. The giant-ass, man’s anatomy-like contraption you see above is that – a silencer – but designed for use on a howitzer gun.
This particular example was designed for use with German Army’s M109G 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer. That’s right folks. This is a real thing, or maybe “was” a real thing. Not some Photoshop magic.
From YouTube channel Dark5:
The length of barrel that is encompassed by the silencer sleeve has gas vents drilled into it that allows the propellant gas to escape. This results in some of the energy from the fired rounds being lost as it exits the barrel at less than the speed of sound, reducing reverberations and preventing a deafening sonic boom.
Obviously, it is not for real combat situations since, as you may have already noted, the so-called howitzer gun suppressor was place on a separate, but most certainly fixed metal structure. I am sure it is possible to make adjustable at some point, but that’s not the point. The point is, suppressing sound is not the priority in a conflict.
Nobody knows if it was a prototype or not, or if it was still in use. However, one thing for sure is, this giant-ass suppressor was developed to suppress loud noises coming from artillery test firing at a range in Germany after residents in a town not far away complained about the noises.
If you are interested, you can learn more about this strange piece of military hardware in a video by Dark5.
P.S. Further digging revealed that this military dated as far back as 2009. It was reportedly developed German acoustic engineering laboratory IfL GmbH and German military hardware maker Rheinmetall Defense.
More Googling revealed the same photos keep popping up. Given how old the images were, we can assume that it may no longer in use.
Images: Gigazine [JP].
Source: YouTube (Dark5).